WINDSOR, ONT. -- Now that COVID-19 vaccinations have started in Ontario and Quebec, Windsor-Essex can expect a shipment before the end of the year, according to medical officer of health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed.

“We should have the vaccine in a week or two, so the timeline is very short,” he said.

“Based upon population, Windsor-Essex should get approximately 2,500 total does, that would support 1,250 individuals," David Musyj, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO said.

The hospital is responsible for storing and delivering of the vaccinations, but it’s the WECHU that will pick and choose who gets the vaccine, first.

Ontario has a list of “at-risk” groups, to narrow down the decision: (in no particular order) residents and employees in long-term care, hospital employees, Indigenous people and elderly people with chronic illness.

In his briefing on Friday, Dec. 11, Gen. Rick Hillier, chair of the Vaccination Task Force, told media after the first two hospitals use their doses, they will create a “playbook” to be used in 14 other Ontario hospitals.

Hillier says the Task Force will distribute the next rounds of vaccine, with a “focus really in the red zones, the lockdown zones and the zones where we are facing significant challenges containing COVID-19.”

According to Musyj, Pfizer vaccines can only be “moved” four times between the laboratory and local vaccination sites.

“The more it moves, or the more chances of it being taken out of the 80 degrees and thawing and then individuals leaving it out for too long and or trying to put it back in, will reduce the efficacy of the vaccine and create problems,” he said.

WRH chief of staff Dr. Wassim Saad, said people shouldn’t hesitate to volunteer to take a COVID-19 shot.

“Even though the vaccine happened very quickly and we haven’t seen these types of vaccines in a while, the science and the data that they’re based on, are decades and generations old,” he said.